May 1, 2013

Xhip Xhape

I wrote up this blog post about one of our D&D sessions many many months ago and neglected to post it because I don't think I was done with the post, but it's definitely too late now because I can't remember anything else. I enjoyed writing these though. Write-ups are somewhat a chore, but I also like being able to infuse what happened with some creative flairs.
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You know you're in the Material Realm when people gawk at you instead of averting their eyes or ignoring you.The Gray Hand appeared on a newly built teleportation portal in the modest town square of an up and coming village. Malek jumped down and stopped a farmer that had a basket of potatoes on his back.
"Say, what's the name of this town?"
"This is Water Down, sir."

As the farmer turned to go, Malek closed his eyes and did some calculations in his head. After a few moments, he turned back to the rest of The Gray Hand and said, "We're about 50 miles from where we parked the Xebec. How about some Phantom Steeds Inadia?"

Ten minutes later, The Gray Hand galloped silently out of town and soon came upon a riverbank and the cavern where Malek met his most recent untimely death. The cliff still bore the deep claw gouges from the Hydra as it struggled to regain its footing before failing and falling.
"You went down first last time, you want to go down first again?"
Malek shrugged nonchalantly, "Sure, I have plenty of rope for it."
"I'll come with you...uh, you know, in case you need help finding the ship." Cytharyan turned slightly and winked surreptitiously at Inadia and Kalavich.

Once the all clear was given from below, Inadia and Karash made their way down the rope. Inadia pulled out a pair of gloves to protect her hands and used Magic Hand to make the descent more enjoyable. As they cleared the branches and moss from the Xebec, they decided to make their way to Mackelton to see if they could find some kobolds to clean the ship of the accumulated grime and decay from its years in "storage".

As they flew over the town, they were mildly surprised and intrigued to see that in the time they had been gone, the town had apparently assimilated with neighboring towns since they could see a mix of kobolds and humans. While such a thing was not entirely unheard of, the difference in intelligence and skills would normally lean towards a second class citizenship for the kobolds. The Gray Hand touched down with a flourish in the town square, which was sadly devoid of its statue of Malek.

Malek and Cytharyan disembark and after some inquiry, find themselves in front of a lanky human, who frankly looked at them with suspicion.
"What business do the likes of you have here?" He asked gruffly.
Malek looked at Cytharyan for a moment and said slowly, "Well, I have some history with this town, back when it was inhabited with only kobolds. We were in the area so we decided to make a quick social visit. What's the name of the town now?"
"New Hope. It's been called that for about 8 months now."
Cytharyan, sensing the man's skepticism, quickly interjects, "We're also looking for a few able bodies to help clean up our ship. We just took it out of storage and it could use a thorough going over."
The man relaxes slightly, "Well, as long as you're not here to cause any trouble, we always welcome coin. I'll see if I can round up some folks."

They take their leave and a few streets down, found a kobold that didn't seem occupied. They sauntered up to the kobold and struck up a conversation.
"So how long have you been living in Mac...New Hope?"
The kobold looked skittish, but quickly answered, "Few months sirs, not long."
Malek casually took out a gold coin and started twirling it between his fingers. The kobold perked up slightly, his eyes mesmerized by the twinkling of coin.
"Do you know of any kolbolds that have been here for a year or more?"
The kobold furrowed his brow in thought and then nodded, "Only one left is Old Wise One." Malek flipped him the coin. He caught it with surprise but it quickly dawned on him how to play this game. As Malek took out another coin, he seemed positively eager to please and was shifting from one foot to the other.
"Where does the Old Wise One live?"
"OUTSKIRTS." The kobold's eyes bugged out with his exclamation and he panted with excitement, as if he was afraid someone would buzz in before him and give the right answer. He also waved his arm frantically in the direction that they should go. Malek tossed him the second coin and gave a short laugh. He and Cytharyan set out.

The wooden house was humble and the interior was cozy, though simply furnished. As they entered, they were met by an elderly kobold (think Yoda but not green).
"Welcome! My name is Ikik."
"Well met Ikik. We heard that you were the last kobold that remember back when New Hope used to be Mackelton and..."
Ikik suddenly interrupted, "Lord Malek! Forgive me for not recognizing you right away! Please sit!" He shakes he head and says, "Yes, I am the last one. Heathens have taken over the town and that is why I live on the outskirts." He suddenly brightens and says, "Is that why you're here sir? To strike fear into the New Hopeians? Things have been going downhill ever since you left."
"No, I just came to to let you know that we tracked down the people responsible for the massacre. They were given no mercy."
Ikik's eyes grew misty and he looked down as he said, "Thank you Lord Malek. My son was one of the ones killed that terrible terrible day."
They all sat in companionable silence, thinking back to that day.
"Lord Malek..." Ikik hesitated and the hand that was holding his cane shook.
"Yes Ikik? What is it? Don't be afraid to speak up."
"Please sir, take me with you. There's nothing left for me here and I swear I will make myself useful!"

Meanwhile...

A crowd of muscular men and a few stout kobolds crowded around the Xebec all clamoring for a chance to be chosen to help clean the ship. Inadia chose the eight most able souls and two kobolds (to get into the small parts of the ship) and lowered a rope for them to climb up.
"We'll pay you each a gold coin for your work, but not until after you've earned it you hear? Now get started!"
Inadia closely supervised the work and when dinner time rolled around, she shook her head distractedly and said, "No, no, I can't leave the ship. Feel free to go, and send some dinner here for me."
The rest of The Gray Hand met at a nearby tavern and ate lamb. Kalavich and Ikik enter into a drinking contest, a nightly ritual for Kalavich whenever he can find a willing opponent. They each have a keg of the best ale the tavern has to offer and go to town. In the midst of the drunken revelry, Kalavich looks away for a moment and when he looks back, Ikik is no where to be seen. When he hops off of the chair, he sees Ikik slumped underneath the table. Apparently the kobold had passed out and slid off his chair. Kalavich shakes his head and picks up the kobold and slings him over a shoulder. And since his keg is already empty, he also takes Ikik's half finished keg and slings it over his other shoulder and makes his way back to the ship.

After unburdening himself, Kalavich suddenly noticed a flash of movement out of the corner of his eye. He promptly drunkenly searches the Xebec and unsurprisingly finds nothing of note. In the morning, everyone shrugs at his inarticulate mumbling about seeing, yet not seeing something. They take off and make for Kingston, where they land in the town square, making quite a hubbub, which is exactly what they wanted. They roll into the priciest inn in town (feather beds and all!) and party until the morning.
The next day, Inadia puts Magic Mouth on the ship to announce their intention of interviewing candidates to crew the ship. Two women and three men are hired at 20g/month. With that taken care of, Inadia and Cytharyan find a magic shop and while Inadia cleans them out of their reagents, Cytharyan takes the opportunity to practice his skills and steals a few potions.